get rid of landlines
AT&T wrote they have applied to the California Public Utilities Commission to remove their obligation to provide landline telephone service to large areas of the Bay Area and California.
This would mean no landline service for phones, security systems or the internet, and no more free access to 911 or hard-of-hearing services. Many areas have no other available landline service. If you do not or cannot use a cell phone, or do not have internet service, you will no longer have a phone.
AT&T also applied to give up its ETC designation, which would allow it to no longer offer federal Lifeline support for low-income individuals and individuals located in remote areas.
The high costs, inconvenience, and in many cases life-threatening consequences are obvious. This application should not be approved. The CPUC is having hearings and will receive comments.
Travel by train
instead of airline
Re: “Airport passenger traffic rises in 2023” (Page B1, Jan. 30).
I wonder if the slow rebound in air travel through Oakland and San Jose is partially due to people who are avoiding flying because it’s the most climate-frying form of transportation.
Last year I took a trip to Rhode Island and Georgia on Amtrak. What a relief it was to avoid those TSA lines. And what a delight it was to travel through the Rocky Mountains at ground level, where we saw snow-studded cliffs above icy rivers, bald eagles in bare trees, and herds of elk racing across snowy fields.
Although your article was based on concern about the economy, I believe we are adaptable enough that we can find ways to travel and make money that are not only better for the environment but are more scenic, relaxing and enjoyable than flying.
Support effort to
protect kids online
Re: “To protect kids, state might require chronological feeds on social media” (Page B1, Jan. 30).
Your article Jan. 30 reporting on state Sen. Nancy Skinner’s efforts to protect children from various forms of cyber abuse now threatening our youth indicated the extent to which tech companies have jeopardized our children.
Skinner’s Social Media Addiction Act will help protect children from the predatory dangers enticing them on numerous social media platforms. These platforms are aware of the risks they present to our kids — drug sales, extortion and sexual predators among many more. The act would provide limits on daily use and notifications. These measures are important to families working to protect their children from online dangers while relying on the Internet for educational and social benefits.
Social media platforms have skirted their responsibilities for many years. Now is the time to support the legislation it will take to require platforms to implement meaningful reforms necessary to protect kids.
Executive director, Child Abuse Prevention Council of Contra Costa
Boeing must address
anti-ice system problem
Under the spotlight, Boeing last week withdrew its petition to the FAA for a safety exemption for its yet-to-be-certified 737MAX-7, the smallest of the 737MAX models.
The company had requested that the FAA proceed with certification despite the known problem that the anti-ice system overheats if used for more than five minutes at a time, possibly leading to engine parts flying off, which the FAA said could cause “impact damage“ and “result in loss of control of the airplane.” While Boeing’s reversal is a step forward, this overlooks the thousands of 737MAX-8 and 737MAX-9 aircraft already on order or currently flying, which all have exactly the same problem.
I know a 737MAX pilot who pastes notes on the cockpit instrument panel as a reminder to turn off the anti-ice system within five minutes. Should the fate of 737MAX passengers hang on the strength of the glue of Post-it notes?
Professor of the Graduate School, UC Berkeley
Disdain for high court
comes from right, left
Re: “Texas scary defiance of U.S. Supreme Court” (Page A7, Feb. 1).
I agree with the writer’s opinion that it’s dangerous when a political official, like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, defies an order of the Supreme Court of the United States. Our entire constitutional system can suffer enormous damage when its politicians abuse our federal system that gives complete power over immigration to the federal government.
For instance, when the Southern states decided to do things their own way, it resulted in the Civil War. When Abbott defies the Supreme Court, a state attorney general charges a federal candidate, or when a city or state decides to call itself a sanctuary from federal laws, we’re courting a similar type of damage to our entire system.